Ericsson and Slovenian communications service provider, Telekom Slovenije, have launched the first commercial 5G network in Slovenia on July 23, 2020.
The new 5G services were switched on through a software installation to existing Ericsson Radio System and Packet Core equipment which will enable spectrum sharing between 4G and 5G on the 2600MHz FDD spectrum – traditionally used for 4G only. Under the terms of the 5G deal, Ericsson is supplying Telekom Slovenije with RAN and Packet Core solutions.
Initial 5G services are available in major cities across Slovenia, covering an estimated 25 percent of the population. Telekom Slovenije aims to increase its 5G coverage to 33 percent of the population by end of 2020.
Matjaž Beričič, Management Board member and Chief Technology Officer, Telekom Slovenije, says: “Mobile data traffic is growing exponentially, so we must ensure further development of our network in order to provide an excellent user experience with new emerging services and applications, including IoT. This is an evolutionary journey made possible by our strong 4G network with well-established VOLTE capabilities.
We have been preparing for this deployment utilizing the existing frequency spectrum, knowing this new generation of technology is more spectrally efficient and can transfer far more data, as we strive for best spectrum utilization possible. Our gradual 5G rollout strategy, launching 5G on 2600 MHz band as a first step, is the best choice with best possible rollout of coverage and capacity in 2020 and beyond. Evolution of our network in the future very much depends on new spectrum auction outcome, so we keep our options open for new possibilities, in particularly since we know network requirements for vision 2025 will be even more demanding.”
Beričič continues: “Upgrading existing our 4G networks to 5G puts Slovenia on the map of the most digitally advanced countries. With opportunities for new ICT solutions, services and business models, we have started an evolutionary upgrade of existing mobile technology based on secure standards that we have mastered with our business partners and providers like Ericsson. We shall continue upgrading our 4G/5G network to benefit everyone in Slovenia.”
Telekom Slovenije is also planning a fifth-generation public mobile network in the form of ‘campus’ networks, in which virtual dedicated networks for various verticals, such as energy, transport, logistics, industry, smart cities, health, public safety and critical services are provided within one physical infrastructure. 5G connectivity is a platform for enabling new and innovative consumer and industry services, business models and solutions in Slovenia. Both Slovenian consumers and businesses will benefit from the introduction of 5G, making a wide variety of services in the field of VR/AR, media and IoT possible.
Arun Bansal, President of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson, says: “With leading 5G technology, a robust supply chain capability and decades of local presence in Europe, we are joining forces with our long-term partners Telekom Slovenije to bring 5G to Slovenia. Telekom Slovenije is meeting the increased demand for data in the country, and we are efficiently deploying 5G to support subscribers and enterprises and to also prepare Slovenia for the next digital revolution. Working together, we will harness our unique ability to roll out 5G quickly in Slovenia and give a third of the entire population access to 5G already by the end of the year.”